On April 4, 1987, on the couch of Henry Chapier, the most famous cathodic psychoanalyst, she had imagined her old age: “I will end up retired to the countryside, with plants and cats. Almost a prophecy. Today, Amanda Lear has found refuge at the gates of the Alpilles, in the Provencal farmhouse she bought in the 1980s. A “haven of peace” which was the scene of a tragedy: in December 2000, her husband , Alain-Philippe Malagnac, perished there in the fire which was going to destroy part of the house. She chose to rebuild: “Fire purifies, she says. From now on, there are only good vibes. It is the house of happiness. I want to live there and die there. »
Paris Match. Alone in this big house, aren’t you bored?
Amanda Lear. I have always been wild; loneliness pleases me. It’s such freedom! I have my cats, my painting and friends who call me or drop by twenty times a day. I don’t understand my girlfriends who complain because their husband left them for a younger girl. I answer them: “Take advantage of your alimony to go on a cruise with a gigolo!”
When I married Alain-Philippe, Dali gave me a funeral wreath.
Why didn’t you sell the house after this terrible fire?
After this kind of drama, in a first access of despair, one would want to take a revolver to join the other. But I understood that it was better to continue living. I believe that the people who left us stay in the places they loved. Alain-Philippe adored this house, which I continue to maintain at great expense for him. He was the love of my life. Besides, I blame Salvador Dali for not having treated him well: when I married Alain-Philippe, he gave me a funeral wreath.
Dali too, did you like him?
Many, yes. Which is quite surprising, because physically he was a paunchy old gentleman who was dyeing his mustache. At the time, I used to go out with pretty guitar players. But its culture seduced me. For the first time, a man took my hand while reciting Garcia Lorca to me. Of course, we didn’t do anything in bed… He was helpless, anyway.
A handsome Italian left me for a Miss Weather.
Could you fall in love again?
After Alain-Philippe, I had other stories. Especially with a handsome Italian who left me for a Miss Weather – all Miss Weather are bitches, my darling. But today, I have no intention of remarrying, of building a future with someone.
On your Instagram account, we sometimes see you surrounded by very young men. Who are they to you?
As soon as I post a photo with a man, we imagine that it is my lover. These boys are more like friends, flirts perhaps, fiancés why not. I noticed that young people were more and more attracted to older women. The phenomenon is not new… It was called gerontophilia. (Laughs.) Americans have since coined that awful term “cougar.” When I ask these guys why they date me instead of girls their own age, they tell me they’re bored with them. That they have nothing but a nice ass. They are amazed by what I tell them, my experience… To me, they bring freshness. I want to keep my curiosity for new fashions, new music…
When Berlusconi’s death was announced, all the Italian journalists called me to find out if I had been his mistress.
You have just released a remastered version of your album “Let Me Entertain You”. Entertaining is your real job?
I never had a Nana Mouskouri voice, so I understood from the start that I had to offer something else to the public and put on a show. I was the first to surround myself on stage with half-naked dancers. Since then, all American pop stars have done it. My job is to make people dream, to make people forget about strikes, unemployment, taxes. We don’t need artists to get involved in political issues.
You knew Berlusconi well. What was your reaction to his disappearance?
When I met him, he was not involved in politics. I must admit that he was a very good chain manager, an artist at heart. I loved working with him. But I hadn’t seen him for at least thirty years. When his death was announced, all the Italian journalists called me to find out if I had been his mistress. I was not his style! He preferred Italian women with big breasts. As I often say: I didn’t sleep to succeed, but I succeeded to sleep.
I represent a kind of golden age where we knew how to party.
Featured in a Chanel ad, your 1978 hit “Follow Me” once again topped the charts in several countries. Amanda Lear not going out of style?
People are nostalgic for that time. We were going to have fun at the Palace, without worrying about wars and pandemics. I represent a kind of golden age where we knew how to party. When Chanel contacted me, I was surprised. This song still tells the story of a girl who sells her soul to the devil, like Goethe’s “Faust”. Today, I’m number one in South Korea and downloaded all over the world.
It is claimed that this contract has earned you millions…
People don’t know it, but the record companies are crooks: they take half. The other half is shared between the author, the publishers and the performer. So, in the end, my poor darling, if I have 5,000 euros left and a Chanel bag, that’s good enough! (Laughs.)
I have always accepted to grow old! I don’t spend my time getting a lift.
You claim to be retired, yet we see you in the theater and soon in the cinema…
I want to quit, but people insist… They want me so badly that they offer me nice sums of money. Difficult to refuse, because I may need it to pay for my nursing home. (Laughs.) But, in 2021, I performed in a play with Michel Fau which made me very tired. I came out completely out of breath and had to have heart surgery. Brigitte Macron, who was adorable, introduced me to her daughter, a cardiologist, who organized all of this, and I’ve got a hell of a catch again. Isabelle Mergault wrote me a play that we should play at the start of the school year. Michel Fau has several projects for me. But will I hold on?
Aging is no longer a problem?
I have always accepted to grow old! I don’t spend my time getting a lift. Everyone knows that I am now an elderly lady and I have no problem with that. I have a Vermeil card, it’s wonderful!
Doesn’t death scare you?
My journey is fabulous: I’ve sold 28 million albums, I have fans all over the world… There isn’t a day when I don’t thank heaven. Now, a new generation is taking over: Beyoncé, Rihanna, they are my daughters.
My whole life has been built by chance.
What would you like us to remember about you?
My epitaph? “No more shopping”. In truth, that one forgets me as quickly as possible. I don’t think I’ve done imperishable things. But since I have no children or family, I’m starting to think about what I’m going to leave behind. So that my paintings don’t go to waste, maybe I’ll create a foundation. And for my house, I don’t want it to fall to the State, which has never done anything for me. I would like to sell it for life. But I’m on fire, potential buyers will fear that I’ll live another forty years.
Are you a believer?
Someone up there is pulling the strings. My whole life has been built by chance. By chance, I met Salvador Dali with Paco Rabanne. By chance, David Bowie called me one evening. Maybe tomorrow Woody Allen will call me… I would like to shoot with him, but it’s not me who will take the first step.
They talk about Margot Robbie to play me in a biopic. It would surprise me, but…
Your life is so romantic that we would like to read your Memoirs.
I will never write them. I am not Angela Merkel or Hillary Clinton who have things to tell… What I am going to do, on the other hand, is one on stage in which I will tell myself. We’re writing it: I don’t want it to be a monologue in front of a microphone, but rather a conversation with a journalist. Something interactive, the audience could ask questions. I saw Sophia Loren do that in London. HBO is preparing a great documentary about me. They came to film me here, cutting the flowers and pretending to cook.
In April, there was also the documentary “Amanda Lear: ‘Call me Mademoiselle’” on Arte, which you didn’t like at all. For what ?
It was really bad! He scraped away those eternal gutter rumors: “Where did she come from?”, “Was she a man?” The director explained to me that it was part of my legend! But it’s useless! On the other hand, I signed with the company Anonymous Content for a biopic. They talk about Margot Robbie playing me. It would surprise me, but…
Telling my childhood has no interest.
It is true that we know nothing of your origins. As if you wanted to make believe that you had built yourself…
Telling my childhood has no interest. What my parents did is not who I am. Only the end result counts.
It feels like you only know the character you created for yourself. Has anyone ever met the real Amanda Lear?
People want to believe that I am 24 hours a day excessive and extravagant… In reality, I am naturally melancholy. But the public does not want my moods, they want jokes. The real Amanda Lear, she is alone in front of her white canvas.